NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH AND PRODUCTION VLOG #4
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SITE

After months of design and development, our new website is now unleashed upon the world and it looks KILLER!!!! Go check it out at www.machinehead1.com

At the end of last year we put out the call for a Web Designer to build our new site and one candidate — a 21 year old Web Designer and Developer and fellow metalhead named Tanner Godarzi — really stepped up to the plate and just absolutely destroyed!! After much collaboration we decided to take our web presence to the next level and deliver an absolutely crushing experience which looks rad on phones, tablets, laptops etc!

SOCIAL

With the launch of our new site we also stepping up our social feeds, and with that, we’re launching a fan focused Tumblr which will also serve as an archive for “The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman… And Other Ramblings”. We want the Head Cases of the world to send us your best Machine Head ink, photo of you and us, fan art and anything else that makes you fucking excited to call yourself a Machine Head fan. That goes for your Instagram photos too, start tagging ‘em with #machinehead and we’ll start giving shout outs to some of the craziest Head Cases.
Tumblr: http://www.machinehead.tumblr.com

PRODUCTION VLOG #4
The newest production Vlog explores Jared MacEachern laying down the bass tone o’ doom on our upcoming 8th album. Check it out on www.machinehead1.com

Follow Machine Head:

Tumblr: http://www.machinehead.tumblr.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/machine_head1
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/machinehead
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MachineHead
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mfnh

KILLERS & KINGS US TOUR

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Machine Head is rolling to you starting tomorrow in Fresno on the US leg of the Killers & Kings tour! We’re definitely stoked to be playing again so tell your friends, spread this around and come out to rage!!! #machinehead 

HELLO!!

"Is it me you’re lookin’ for…"

I just got back from two days of absolute bliss up on Lake Berryessa. Two days of swimming, wake-surfing (my new love!) hot weather, good friends, and A LOT of beer, whew!!

Shock Top has been my beer of choice lately. I know, I know, all the beer snobs are going to cringe, but dammit, it’s the best shitty beer out there!! And there’s something about drinking it with 2 orange chunks, in the heat, on the lake, it’s a great all-day-beer. I can’t seem to hang with the craft beers when were on the lake. Not sure if it’s too heavy or what??

Genevra and I got into wake-surfing about 4 seasons ago, we still wakeboard, but the falls are a helluva lot easier since you only going about 11 MPH. For those who don’t know, it’s basically getting pulled behind a boat on a board, and by filling up the water ballasts it weighs the boat down and makes a 3 foot wave / wake, you pull yourself up by a rope, and then let go eventually and “surf.” 

It is fucking awesome!

I find myself having these total Zen-moments out there on the water doing it. 

And even more rad is watching my sons get hooked on it. Zander is now wakeboarding getting some pops out there on the wake, and Wyatt who is now doing 360’s on the knee-board. NUT-ZO!!

My Camping-Crew was up there over the weekend with us and we just raged! Fuck me, it was a good time, and I didn’t know how bad I needed it. 

It’s a great release when things get stressful in life.

ALBUM COVER

Is done! And album title too!

We’ll probably make an announcement soon enough, but we are really freakin’ stoked with it!!!

Been working with a new artist named Marcelo Vasco. We got turned on to Marcelo’s work through Gerardo at Nuclear Blast and let me tell you…this kid has delivered some fucking glory! He took updated MH ‘Lion Crest’ that Rafal Wechterowicz (we call him Raf for short) had designed with us, and added this whole other dark trip to it. We’ve decided to base the album package off of an old Alchemy book, with aged, sepia-toned pages on the insides, alchemy wood-cuts.

As we talked about before, one of the things we were so excited to sign with Nuclear Blast about was the next level, special packages they do for their bands. This Machine Head set up may be their biggest yet! Just the album alone will come in deluxe CD, vinyl gatefold, and the piece-de-résistance, a red foil and leather bound 48-page media book with CD. Some album bundles will come with a hard resin Machine Head diamond logo around the media book. There will be something akin to an “ultra bundle” as well, which will include a completely custom Epiphone Guitar (with the new lion crest artwork) courtesy of Epiphone Guitars.

This shit is ridiculous!!

Been working our butts off to make it all happen in time, hence why it’s been a little quiet around these parts, but it’s all coming together, in fact, it’s above and beyond what we thought it would be!

U.S. TOUR DATES

All that I can say is, I am fucking STOK-ED to get back out there and play for the Head Cases of America again!!!!

See you out there my friends!!


P.S. - Here’s me doing push-ups on the water, er, uh, falling off the wakesurf, er, uh, whatever funny caption you guys can make!

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THE THINGS I SEE

The guys rehearsing for LazerFest in Iowa (which was fucking awesome by the way!!)

Dave McClain’s glorious dome

Demmel (aka: Shreddy Krueger, aka: Shred Biletnikoff) ripping a lead

"Under my Drumbrella-ella-elaa-elaa-ay-ay…”

J-Mac holdin’ it down.

P-To-Tha-D. (I think Jared is channeling his inner-Trujillo)

Brad K. (aka: The Polish Pimp) diggin for some snacks!

Obi Juan, The Juan and only, I-guess-I-made-a-Juan-Turn, and when I’m pissed at him… “God Damn Motherfuckin’ Juanita”.

Zander graffiti from 2011

This girl’s getting the pussy lickin’ of her life

Who knew cracking eggs could be so hot? Is there anything hotter…? C’lordhavemercy…

Hitler Tits! (aka: “Titler”)

Are you ready to break dance? Bust a move suckah!

I love this picture.

The Fridge (and I don’t mean William Perry!)

Every time I piss: I look at Siouxsie, MLK mugshot, The Who, Berkeley protesters, and Iggy and The Stooges

Every time I dump: I see The Clash, Freddy Mercury, more protesters, Dead Kennedy’s, and some hot biker chicks.

Walking out of the bathroom, best light switch cover ever.

Records.

The front door at JingleTown.

"Helloooooooooooooooooooo Oakland…" boom-boom… boom-boom-boom-boom-boom...

First thing I see walking into the front door: Ms. Pac Man, The Stones, The Beatles,

Can EYE help you?

"The devil went down to Oakland, he was looking for a soul to steal" ("Chickeninthebreadpanpickin’outdough!”)

THE BLACKENING IT AIN’T

Greeting my friends from sunny Northern California where it’s 91 degrees today (!!) and The Lawsuit Kings are hard at work completing what is going to be a massive, MASSIVE album.

Yep, we’re still in the studio, and as much as I’d love to say we’re done, we still got a few weeks left to go.  So yes, you did the math correctly, that’s 10 weeks we’ve been in here, WHEW!  I know, seems like a while, but in reality, it took us 3 months to record “The Blackening”, (most of which was guitars), so were about the on par with that.  

Not to say that this record is anything like “The Blackening”, it isn’t.  But what I would say is that the song are as epic in scope, if not more so, except where “The Blackening” was more epic in the guitar department, this is more epic in the EVERYTHING department.  Strings arrangements, keyboard arrangements, massive vocal layering (one track, “Sail Into The Black” has 40 tracks of vocals), drum overdubs, and of course the standard-Machine Head quadruple-tracking of the guitars.  

It takes a while to complete, but FUCK, does it sound CRUSHING when it’s done!!

We sent the first finished tracks (“Killers & Kings” and “Night Of Long Knives”) off to Colin Richardson to mix over in England, and we will continue hammering out the remaining songs, and the remaining 12 tracks of guitar to do.  We should finish the track formerly known as “DokVanSchenkerSnake” (now called “Ghosts Will Haunt These Bones”) today.

Jared has been laying down some serious bass playing through his new Spector bass, an Avalon DI, and a great sounding Aguilar Bass Amp, plus singing some KILLER high vocal harmonies.  Phil has been laying down some of the tastiest, chewiest, most sing-a-long leads I’ve ever heard him do, and that’s saying something.  

Phil has definitely re-envisioned his lead-style and it’s really cool to hear him challenge himself like this after all these years into playing with him.  It’s less all-out shredding, and more perfect-note-choice.  We’ve talked numerous times about how cool it is that you can “hum” Kirk Hammet’s leads, that they are SO memorable they become part of the melody of the song, and he’s been really inspired by that.  You guys will be stoked.

I know I brought up “The Blackening” earlier, but I want to re-iterate, I don’t feel this record sounds like “The Blackening”.  It feels like we’re still moving forward.  If I HAD to compare it to another record of ours, it may be closer to “Through The Ashes Of Empires” in one aspect only, the simpler song arrangements.  It’s still what I would call classic-metal, but we’ve simplified beats, simplified riffs, taken the unnecessary complicated-ness of something and made it simple. 

I’ve even applied that to my lyrics, I’ve stripped out a lot of extra words (“the’s”, “and’s, etc), and invented a lyrical technique I call “clustering”, where you cluster vowels or cluster “plosives” (“K’s”, “T’s”, “Ch’s”) together to make it sound heavier, or flow better.  It doesn’t read all that poetically, but in the song it sounds really cool!!  I’ve also really worked hard on sharpening up my rhyme-schemes, finding clever places to place rhymes, instead of the usual place at the end of a line, or even again, “clustering” rhymes.  It makes an abstract concept like “Killers & Kings” (which references 20+ Tarot Cards, and that I’m very proud of the end result) to have a real meaning.  

Out of that stripped down musical landscape, we’ve then taken that new (to us at least) “extra space” and added in layers of strings, layers of dark, ambient keys, layers and layers of vocals, and it sounds HUGE.  I just watched a documentary of “A Night At The Opera” by Queen, and while I’d never EVER put myself in Freddie Mercury’s-league, there have definitely been times during this recording where I’ve drawn a parallel to the epic-ness involved to make this album be what it needs to be.  

The “A Night At The Opera” Of Metal?  Well… that’s a fuckin’ stretch, we are just a metal band at the end of the day, but we’re on to something here.  

Something’s happening.

Something special.

Dent The Universe!!

IGNITE

Sometime in late 2006, during the recording of “The Blackening,” I read a Revolver Magazine review of Ignite’s – “Our Darkest Days” album by a friend of mine named Amy Sciaretto. Amy worked at Roadrunner back then, and she had always been a big supporter of our band. Ignite wasn’t a Roadrunner band so the review itself didn’t feel like there was some hype behind it. It was a good (re: positive) review, but when she spoke about the political / “fuck you” nature of the lyrics, it struck me. I had heard of Ignite, we played a few festival dates together sometime in the 90’s. I do however vaguely remember talking to one of the guys at the Dynamo Festival in ‘97; well “remember” is a strong word. I was so high on ecstasy and vodka, I couldn’t tell you what the hell we talked about, though I remember thinking that he was cool. But that was it; that was my only experience with the band as I never heard any of the records.

I’ve always loved punk rock, some of the first bands I ever got into we’re punk bands. The incredible first Suicidal Tendencies record, the mind-blowing Discharge album “Hear Nothing, Say Nothing, See Nothing,” the “Violent Pacification” EP and “Dealing With It” by D.R.I., Cro-Mags “Age Of Quarrel”, GBH - “Leather Bristles, Studs, and Acne,” and one of my favorite punk albums of all time FEAR - “The Record.”

Back then bands were discontent, they were angry with the way things were, and they sang about. They were there to agitate, to scare, to provoke, sometimes brutishly, always honestly, occasionally even quite eloquently. They were not trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator; in fact, they hated the lowest common denominator.

It was a lot different than today’s bands.

Something about the “fuck you,” “fuck the government,” and “fuck everyone” attitude always appealed to me. These lo-fi recording didn’t have the heaviest guitar tones or the tightest playing, but they had fucking attitude and fucking balls. They spoke to me in ways “normal” records didn’t.

Reading Amy’s review reminded me that I should listen to more punk, so I picked up the album, hoping for some type of musical inspiration.

To my surprise it was quite melodic, very So-Cal punk; it was nothing at all what I expected. I’ve never been into the So-Cal punk scene too much, even though I respected bands like Bad Religion and Social Distortion for pioneering what they did. With those bands I really enjoyed the lyrics, but most of the time the music didn’t have enough “evil notes” for my liking. (I should probably re-visit these albums though, because I love Rancid and Rise Against, both of whom owe a debt to the aforementioned bands.)

I remember exactly where I was the moment I listened to this Ignite record though. I was with Dave McClain and our then video guy Danger Dan, and we were leaving Sharkbite Studios, going over the Bay Bridge, driving out to a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. As soon as we left Sharkbite from a day of recording, we put this album on, and HOLY SHIT! From the opening song, the 1-2-punch of “Our Darkest Days / Bleeding, it gave me fuckin’ goosebumps!

I got ‘em right now just thinking of that very moment.

It was fast, it was pissed, but it had hooks galore. There was surprisingly intricate guitar playing and really fantastic song arrangements. The singer Zoli, FUCK…the dude has an amazing set of pipes that defy the usual punk band ensemble, and would crush a lot of power metal singers! Dave and I kept saying he sounds like the Scorpions singer Klaus Meine, “he’s the Klaus Meine of hardcore!” LOL!

This record hit us like a ton of bricks. It’s very rare when you go on a tour that everyone likes the same music. Sometimes it’s just the mood you’re in, isn’t it? I mean who knows why anyone connects to a band? But this album resonated with all of us and like I said that’s a rarity. It’s been damn near 8 years since I first got this record and I can tell you without a doubt, that not a single tour has gone by where we didn’t play this record several times. For many a reason it seems to find a set of speakers when we are having a drinking session in the dressing room with a bunch of friends. Something about it… it just fuckin’ rocks… and it MEANS something. It’s the unexplainable that’s just bigger than “music.”

For the b-side of “Killers & Kings” 10 inch, we do a cover of that “1-2” punch, “Our Darkest Days / Bleeding.” We did our best to keep it true to the original as there was no reason to change it. Never change a classic, people! And their song is a straight-up classic; actually the entire record is a straight-up classic.

I went back and listened to their older albums, but it didn’t hit me in the same way this record did. From what I understand most people prefer the older stuff. I don’t really know the whole story, but they broke up / went on hiatus shortly after “Our Darkest Days” came out, and have recently re-activated.

But it doesn’t matter. Who cares what albums everybody else likes or liked, I don’t listen to music to “fit in.” I don’t listen to music because it’s what “everyone else thinks is cool.”

No one should.

Sometimes a band comes along and just blows you away. A band that sings about the awful truth, and does it in a way so clever, so powerful, that it makes you think, it makes you move, it makes you sing, it makes you feel alive.

That’s the power of music in all its unexplainable glory.

Do yourself a favor; listen to “Our Darkest Days.”

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/0N8mCIjXZ59pCCfIHWBJHo

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LnavDe1mws

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THE SLUMBER

I’m in a shitty mood.

Not for the story I’m about to tell, but because of my thoughts afterword.

I went out to San Francisco for my buddy Joe’s birthday shenanigans. We went out for Moroccan food at a joint called El Mansour. The place had a great vibe, belly dancing, sword balancing, and amazing food! The lamb in particular was to-freakin’-die-for, slow roasted and covered in honey and cinnamon.

On the way out there Joe’s buddy Tony picked me up from JingleTown, since I didn’t want to drive as I knew I’d be drinking. On the hour long trip out (Saturday traffic to SF) he was telling me some pretty awesome stories about growing up in the 70’s. You see Tony was a teenager in 1975, and used to go the famous San Francisco venue “Winterland.” Winterland was before my time, but being part of the scene you heard the legend, the stories and the history.

Tony is a big Black Sabbath fan, saw them back in ‘75 on the “Sabotage” tour and said it was a life changing experience. Him and his buddies used to go to Winterland, load up on LSD, cigarettes, and weed, and go watch pretty much the cream of the crop of Classic Rock bands. Ted Nugent, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Journey, Montrose, you name it he went and saw it. The shows would start and if people loved the opening band (essentially cheering non-stop) they’d get to do encores. He was telling me about a show Journey (the opener!), killed it, and they got 4 encores, the support band got 4 encores! Then the headliner, Montrose, got 5 ENCORES! Montrose didn’t stop playing until 2:30 in the morning, everyone stayed, no one would even dare consider leaving and people experienced some of the best music of their lives.

An opener getting encores, crazy…

And the venue allowed things like this to happen. The venue just kept the bands rolling.

Not only that, but all of the shows at Winterland were $4.50.

4 dollars and 50 cents…..18 freakin’ quarters!

Wow…?!?

All I could think of was “what an amazing time for music.” People wonder why the “Classic Rock” bands were so good. They were playing by their own rules, and they had a culture of venues and people around that were as crazy and fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants as the bands themselves. The promoters around that time did anything to make the bands happy and if it meant playing all goddamn night? Let em’!

I tell you right now though, there isn’t a band out there who would play til 2:30 AM nowadays, let alone find a major venue that would even ALLOW such a thing.

I remember when I first started going to /playing thrash shows, it was a very similar thing. It was no rules, no security, no safety, no curfews, and for the most part anything went!

Venues these days are mostly run with Union workers. In most major cities, you have to take breaks during the day, where a band can’t even sound check for an hour because the union workers need a “break.” Nowadays if you play 1 minute past 11PM at any of the large Union venues, it costs the band $1,000 dollars a minute. When we were out with Metallica playing arenas they regularly play 20 minutes past 11:00PM, and they regularly paid $20,000 to do so.

I went and saw Pearl Jam about a month ago, and they played one of the best, most truly rock n roll shows I’ve seen in eons. It was fucking magical, Eddie Vedder drank 3 bottles of wine, and about 2 hours into the set, he started getting a little sloppy, forgetting lyrics, missing cues, it looked like it was about to fall off the rails.

The band then they took a quick break and he came back and played “Black.”

Let me tell you, it was magic! I’m getting goose bumps writing this, just remembering it. It was such a turn-around; it totally took the night to an even higher level. At this point they were already 45 minutes past 11. They played several more songs and eventually the Oakland Arena (currently called the “Oracle Arena,” until some different stupid corporate sponsor buys it and changes it to something ridiculous like Florida’s “1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheater”) turned on the house lights, signaling them to stop. Pearl Jam said “fuck you!” and played 2 more songs with the house lights on! Eddie Vedder then brought the band back out onstage to do an extra-long goodbye to the crowd. I love their fucking attitude.

In the end they played 70 minutes over “curfew” and I’d imagine left Oakland about $70,000 dollars lighter to do so. Of course Pearl Jam can afford it, and frankly it gave every single person there one of the best shows of their life. But this gesture to keep the “room” in a good mood in conjunction with the Winterland conversation, it got me thinking.

Shit has changed.

On the one hand I love Pearl Jam’s “fuck you, were doing it our way” attitude, and on the other hand, it angered and depressed me.

Only the Metallica’s and Pearl Jam’s can pull things like this. Bands that have sold millions of records, and they can afford it.

If Machine Head tried playing an hour over curfew at say, the House Of Blues in Dallas, Texas, we’d be walking out of there with our entire guarantee eaten up. Even if the fans wanted it, some venue would do their best to shut it down, cut power, close curtain, whatever.

The music business has sucked the life out of creativity. No one is encouraged to take risks, no one is encouraged to push the envelope, because it’s all about first week sales! It’s about pointless radio play and how good your last tour went. How venues and promoters are squeezing the last drop of spontaneity out of your soul by not “allowing” you to playing past curfew and not drawing outside the line.

When we play that game we essentially applaud mediocrity.

There’s nothing dangerous about music these days, there’s nothing surprising about it either. There can’t be. Other than Pearl Jam the only “band” that doesn’t seem to really give a flying fuck and plays by their own rules isn’t really a band at all, are they? Axl and the Roses are known for bending the rules and telling the powers that be to “fuck off” but because their band is so confusing they come across as a joke. But people don’t see this. People don’t see any of this!

And the reason you don’t care is because it’s too easy to get sucked into your phone, or your Facebook, or your Twitter, or your Tumblr, or your Instagram, or your games, or your TV shows.

Music isn’t important anymore. Say it is all you want, but the fact is, the 2 biggest rock records of last year only sold 400,000 copies, neither even went gold.

Music is in the background of a game. Why go to a show when you can watch clips of it on YouTube and bitch about how it stinks live?

And you know what, I miss music being important! I miss live shows being important. I miss feeling a part of something that was so high on my list I’d crawl through broken glass to get it.

All this technology we have now that’s supposed to make us “connected?” It’s making me feel more fucking disconnected than ever. I mean watching all the things that other people are doing that I’m not invited to or even a apart of? And yet at the same time completely disgusted by faux-self-importance it has given everyone, (here’s my dog or cat for the millionth time, here’s a selfie for the millionth time, here’s my kids for the millionth time, here’ the food I’m eating for the millionth time, here’s what I’m doing and you’re not). Don’t you wish you were eating what I’m eating?

Fuck you!

I’ve thought of tweeting or Facebooking something so many time and just went, “who cares”, , why should anyone care about this, and you SHOULDN’T care.

You’re all my “friends,” you’ve all “liked” me, but really, you’re not my friends, because we don’t know each other. You took a photo of me, or you interviewed me, or we talked after a show. And after you get past the initial coolness, of re-connecting with someone from high school on FB or Twitter, you realize you truly have drifted apart.

And fuckin’ A, I’m glad we did.

I don’t want to be “friends” with everyone; I don’t want to be “liked” by everyone. I want to feel connected to something. And nothing I look at in the music business does that. I don’t get radio bands; I don’t get any of these fucking “scene bands.” I don’t get bands singing about how great being American is, as if the geographic location you were born, (and had zero control over in any way shape or form), somehow makes us better than any other geographical place of birth!?

I don’t get why people don’t want to see live music anymore, I don’t get it. Did you see the clip of Hetfield talking about how America needs to start “wanting” music again? http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallicas-james-hetfield-says-orion-music-more-festival-has-been-a-financial-disaster/

This is James “Fucking” Hetfield talking people! Didn’t those words do anything to anyone? Didn’t what he said make you feel a bit disgusted? I’m a Metallica fan and those words being spoken kind of stung a bit.

You can bitch all you want that Machine Head only does festival tours and only plays for 30 minutes, but all those bands (including us) that play festival tours, can’t draw squat when were not on festival tours. And even the big metal festivals are having troubles. Maybe the days of bands touring is coming to an end? Bands didn’t always tour you know, Mozart didn’t hit the road for a year or 2 back in the day. Touring is really a phenomenon of the last 60 years or so. People didn’t always buy records, or CDs, or files, or streams, that’s also a phenomenon of the last 60 or 70 years.

I don’t get the political fucking correctness of music anymore.

I don’t get the narrow-mindedness of the world anymore.

I don’t get people asking me every week to try and write “more like ‘Burn My Eyes’ please”.

I don’t get religious nutjobs who think that when they die they’re going to 72 virgins when they get to heaven. (“You’re guaranteed to get some pussy in the afterlife boys”, so obviously written by a man!)

I don’t get religious fucking nutjobs who think that Jesus is coming back soon, wearing a white blood stained robe (stained with the blood of his enemies…whoever those are) and will be carrying a sword, and by “sword,” the bible meant an AR-15!

What did Napoleon say? “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

I don’t get why we need to hear “America The Beautiful” and “thank a soldier” in a TV commercial, 22 and 14 times respectively during the Superbowl.

I don’t fucking get it.

You don’t care about music, and I don’t care about music, and I sit here wondering if this feeling is a result of the business itself, or is the business a result of our own apathy towards music.

I feel lost.

I feel alone.

Something has to change.

Someone has to stir the pot.

Something needs to come along and wake us up out of the slumber.

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SLOW AND STEADY PROGRESS

SLOW AND STEADY PROGRESS

As I step off the insane recording treadmill I’ve been on for a few weeks, one thing is for certain, it’s all about slow and steady progress. I mean, I really wish I had more of an exciting update to give you, but I’ve been slammed recording guitars, laying down vocals, and working on some killer packaging ideas with the Nuclear Blast crew.

Less than a week before we got into JingleTown we finished a pair of songs, one of which was literally not even an idea the week previous. Phil brought in some great, GREAT stuff at the 11th hour and we were able to turn it into a really cool song with the working title of: “Sharkbite Days Revisited.”

The other song, formerly-known-as “Blazing Saddles” just wasn’t working. Even though it had some cool parts it was just too god damned hard to play and make it sound natural, so we back-burnered it for a while. It was the type of song where we finally realized our mortality, LOL! One of those “dammit, I can’t play this fast at my age anymore” kind of moments! But it was a song that came at a time when we needed a good kick in the ass, and it completely helped break my writer’s block. It was the crack in the dam and after that, all hell flowed. So if anything it served its purpose well! 

So on the 2nd to last day of rehearsals McClain and I deconstructed “Blazing Saddles”, and then reconstructed it into a far simpler structure, and its fuckin rockin’! Less of a Slayer/Slipknot vibe, and more of a “Screaming For Vengeance”-era Judas Priest feel to it. Appropriately, it has now been given the working title: “Simmering Saddles”.

I laid down some scratch vocal ideas on the 3 “newest” tunes, and made some huge progress on the song (working title: “Riffnado”). I can already tell it’s gonna be really cool.

So that’s about it for now. I know it doesn’t look like much, but as my engineer Juan says, “there some blood on the board there” (pic below). 

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image

DAY 17

Just a quick update for y’all:

We’ve been working on guitar tracks for a few days now with “Killers & Kings” nearly finished on guitar. Had a few mishaps with our new Randall amp which we had been using for a 2nd guitar track. We fixed the amp, then fixed it again, then fixed it AGAIN. And now were giving up on it. 

Because of this I have to re-track a little, but glad it’s early in the recording, rather than half way thru.

From here on out it will be my old 5150 from “Bubba” and my newer 6505 all the way! We’re talking double tracking ‘til that shit is devastatingly tight!! So far it sounds b-r-u-t-a-l.

We laid down some scratch vocal tracks yesterday, did a vocal microphone “shoot-out” and got all both Jared and my mics picked out for singing. 

Next week, we’re going to upload the first of several “Production Blogs” to our YouTube page. They will focus heavily on the “production” side of the recording process. This being the 4th Machine Head album-in-a-row that I’ve produced (not including RR United and the Rammstein remix), I’ve been able to build a really great team of guys around me. This team greatly enhances the entire production process and I think this is a cool way to introduce you all to them and the roles they play.

The blogs themselves will all be a little behind the curve of the actual recordings, as it takes a while for our video dude Scott “Gravy Legs” Kirkeeng to edit them, but I think for some of you it will be an interesting, enjoyable journey of behind the scenes of recording. 

For some of you though, it’ll probably be boring as fuck! So I’m giving you an early warning right now. *WARNING* If microphone placement, and studio tech talk are as exciting to you as say, “watching paint dry,” feel free to ignore these and log back in to your normal interporn.com site!! There will very little “band” footage, (people tracking etc…), that’s been done to death at this point, so were trying to show you something different. 

Again, it will focus on a whole other side of making a record, and the people who help guide it to fruition.

First one [coming next week] will tackle the Machine Head “demoing” process. 

‘Til then, I’ll just keep tracking the metal!!

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SEX TO MUSIC

The local college radio station out here in the Co Co County (KVHS) plays all kinds of cool stuff, everything from Amon Amarth and Machine Head to A Day To Remember and Flogging Molly, which makes this the best station in my section of the Bay Area without question. They’ve been playing the new Chino Moreno side-project, Crosses a lot and my wife (who loves Deftones) loves the song they play. 

So I’m on The PRP reading a review of the record, and as I’m scrolling through the comments section, one of the comments stuck out, as it was debating Crosses vs. Team Sleep vs. Deftones, and it ended with “I’ve had a lot more sexual relations to that CD.” 

I loved that comment. I literally laughed out loud!

It got me thinking, it got me thinking of all the albums I had had “sexual relations” to. At least early on in my life, whenever I slept with a girl I always played music. During one of my first sexual relations I had Mercyful Fate’s “Mellissa” cassette playing in the background of my bedroom while she and I were drinking wine coolers (pretty romantic huh? LOL!). I have fond memories of that record. That same girl and I had sex at a cemetery on a gravestone while we (again) played Mercyful Fate’s “Mellissa” on her car stereo (apparently that was my go-to lovin’ record). She ended knocking the headstone off of a two-piece gravestone when we were done, doh! 

There was something so fucking taboo and wrong with this scenario, but I cannot lie, it was thrilling!

When Genevra and I first got together I had procured a cassette copy of Alice In Chains’ “Dirt Demos” that leaked a few months before the “Dirt” album came out. I have amazing memories of these long romantic french kisses with Genevra to those demos, just straight NECKIN’, not even sex, but damn near good because it was so drawn out. Ah, the foreplay, I always loved the torture of it.

After Genevra and I had been together a while, we started drinking wine, and we’d always put on Steve Miller’s - “Best Of”, she’d get me to dance (something I’m really awful at, and almost never do) and we’d be in that mellow “wine buzz” state of mind. We’d be dancing and kissing, it was always such a good time listening to it, and man, whatever mojo that record has… it inevitably led to “sexual relations.”

Now that I’m thinking about it, Coldplay’s first album was also a solid choice for baby-makin’ background music.

Surprisingly, we haven’t played music in the background in probably more than a decade. Sometime after we had kids it was always about keeping the house quieter. For the longest time we were just too goddamned tired to do anything at night, let alone play bedroom DJ! So we changed our routine around and moved it to what we call “mornin’ lovin’.” I miss wine and Steve Miller filled nights sometimes but things change, and you know what, often times, change is good. It keeps things fresh. 

Remember what Chris Rock said about marriage, “you gotta learn to recycle the pussy!”

As I thought about the person’s comments in the Crosses CD review, the one thing that was always weird for me during “sexual relations,” was when Machine Head would come up random in the stereo/player/iPod. I just could not deal with it! There was something about hearing my voice while doing “that” that it just tripped me out. I’d often stop and put something else on, quickly. So here is where my fuckin’ bizarro brain started wondering… “I wonder if other band dudes like to listen to their music while they were having “sexual relations?” “Was “I” the weird one that I didn’t like to hear my voice/music?” No idea why my brain went there, but guess what, it’s kind of stuck there! 

Then ol’ bizarro brain started wondering if you guys, the Head Cases of the world had “sexual relations” to Machine Head albums or songs? And if so, what songs, what albums? Me personally, I can’t imagine bonin’-down to “Imperium” would be all that enjoyable in any way (though it might be quick and pounding if that’s the way you like it!). 

But I mean… I know it happens. 

One of my most vivid memories of playing Brixton Academy in London is that of looking up into the balcony and seeing a couple, a girl sitting on top of a guy, having “sexual relations!” I was like “WHOA, good for you guys!!” 

So, I know, weird question, but… do you have sexual relations to Machine Head? 

I don’t need the details!! We don’t need to turn into Penthouse letters, “BRO, my chick licks my ass to Darkness Within and it’s AWESUM!” Definitely DON’T need that. 

But yeah, let’s hear it!

I was gonna give you a studio update, but now I’m all worked up and I think I’ll go (as the Brits like to say in their cockney-rhyming-slang) “have a ham shank”.

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